Kate O'Connell

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Finger Lakes

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail

Kate O’Connell comes to WXXI from Melbourne, Australia, and studied journalism at Royal Melboure Institute of Technology.

During her studies, Kate was a freelance journalist, reporting from Nepal and Haiti, and worked with the media team of the United Nations partner group, International Organization for Migration.

Kate's experience also includes work for the Shepparton News, Australian Broadcasting Company, Melbourne’s Channel 31, RRR radio and WIN television.

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4:04pm

Thu March 7, 2013
Business

Cuomo's one stop shop for beverage industry

www.theloop.ca

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a service to streamline regulatory processes for New York’s $22 billion alcoholic beverage industry. The one-stop-shop initiative is designed to give producers a single point of government contact for licensing, regulatory, and incentives issues.

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4:03pm

Thu March 7, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Rochester Land Bank to try to get more properties on the tax rolls

Rochester's Land Bank will target privately owned vacant properties.
Some rights reserved by Kake Pugh

The City of Rochester has been given state approval to establish one of the state’s ten Land Banks. The city’s Land Bank will support the acquisition of vacant, tax-delinquent properties which will then be  renovated and sold through the HOME Rochester program. The aim is to also get more properties back on the tax rolls.

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5:14am

Thu February 7, 2013
Regional Coverage

Innovation in the gun industry

Mike Saechang Flickr

For gun manufacturers, there is one thing that seems very apparent - the demand for traditional weapons is high. For many customers, there is a personal connection to guns that have been in the family for years. For others, it is the allure of brands and models that have stood the test of time.

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2:21pm

Tue February 5, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Is another casino for Niagara Falls a good idea?

Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly putting together a proposal that would see a second, non-Indian operate casino open in downtown Niagara Falls. The question is whether the market could sustain another casino.

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4:22pm

Thu January 31, 2013
The Upstate Economy

NY's wine industry looking for a few good sommeliers

baristaj9 Flickr

Despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent zest for upstate beer and wine, some industry leaders think his plan has a missing link. Thy say the lack of wine experts known as Master Sommeliers in the upstate region could be a road-block to the sector reaching its full potential and bringing with it growth in tourism.

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8:57am

Thu January 31, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Exports and Generation Y, a recipe for upstate growth

Accelerate Upstate 2.0 conference 2013
BuffaloRising.com

Boosting exports, focusing on homegrown New York businesses, and the importance of engaging with Generation Y. These were all topics of focus at the Accelerate Upstate 2.0 conference in Buffalo this week.

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4:18pm

Mon January 28, 2013
Politics and Government

Upstate tourism industry welcomes promotional funding in proposed state budget

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council

Tourism professionals in upstate New York are applauding Gov. Andrews Cuomo’s commitment to the region. In order to augment upstate economic growth, the governor has set aside $7 million in the budget for promotion and marketing initiatives.

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4:03pm

Wed January 23, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo budget proposes third round of Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Councils have been a cornerstone of Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to revitalize the state's economy. In his budget address Tuesday, Cuomo proposed a third round of state funding for the regional councils totaling $210 million.

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9:02am

Fri January 18, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Kodak - one year after bankruptcy

WXXI Public Broadcasting

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year ago. The intervening months have seen big layoffs, pay freezes for workers, and an end to benefits for many of the company's retirees. However, Kodak also secured an extra $830 million in funding, and sold its patent portfolio.

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9:59am

Tue January 15, 2013
Energy

Buffalo foundation says solar is no-brainer for rebuilding Haiti

Chris Flatau, Solar Liberty Foundation electrician, trains Haitian technicians on how to install solar electric panels.
Solar Liberty Foundation

This weekend marked the third anniversary of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the nation of Haiti. Three years on and the recovery process still has a long way to go, but one organization in western New York has been  helping to bring renewable energy to Haitians still living without power.

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9:12am

Fri January 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Governor proposes creating "innovation hot spots"

In his third State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a new initiative to create ten "Innovation Hot Spots" - areas where startup businesses can receive support, access venture capital and possibly tax breaks.

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3:11am

Fri January 11, 2013
Health

Some mental health experts worry about gun control proposals

It was no surprise that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address focused on the issue of gun control in New York. Following several tragedies in recent months, Cuomo put forward a list of proposed laws to tighten gun control. But one part of the proposal in particular may prove controversial.

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4:34pm

Fri January 4, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Unemployment figures worse for under-30s

The national unemployment level remained unchanged at 7.8 percent for December, according to Bureau of Labor Statistic figures released today. This is the 49th consecutive month unemployment has been above 7 percent but according to analysis from an interest group, those numbers don’t reflect the reality for young adults.

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3:16pm

Fri January 4, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Research credit extension could be a double-edged sword

Tuesday’s fiscal cliff package included extensions to a range of business-related tax credits, including one aimed at supporting research and development. Although Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse have some of the most active R & D economies in the country, experts say the deal could be a double-edged sword for upstate New York.

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10:00am

Thu January 3, 2013
Health

Upstate Medical to work with other universities on MS treatment

A consortium of three upstate medical schools is to receive $12.1 million in funding to try to create a treatment for people living with multiple sclerosis.

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4:21pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Health

Reasearchers working on dyalisis machine small enough to hold in your hand

Imagine a dialysis machine small enough that a patient could wear it. A super-thin filtering material may allow researchers at the University of Rochester to revolutionize dialysis for patients with kidney disease.

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4:18pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Technology

Smart phones of the future may be able to identify human emotions

Remember the mood ring? Well the smart phone of the future may be able to identify your mood based on the sound of your voice.

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8:30am

Sat December 22, 2012
Health

Could a mobile app beat the flu?

Twitter Health is a new app that aims to track illness by using social media.
Adam Sadilek

4:25pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Regional Coverage

Eastman Business Park power plant sold, will get makeover

Kodak is set to sell its coal-fired power plant at Eastman Business Park to a company that will convert it to a cleaner, natural gas facility.

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9:42am

Fri December 21, 2012
Education

School health programs awarded $5 million

The department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $5 million to school-based health centers in New York state this week. The funding is part of an $80 million dollar pot distributed to 197 centers around the nation.

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3:02pm

Thu December 20, 2012
Business

Sale of Rochester clothing maker Hickey Freeman finalized

The sale of the Hickey Freeman parent company was approved by the U.S Bankruptcy Court Wednesday. Authentic Brands Groups (ABG) and W-Diamond Corporation have been given the go ahead to purchase the intellectual and physical property of the company.

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9:06am

Thu December 20, 2012
Technology

RIT invests in technology improvements for the disabled

Fifteen teams of students from the Rochester Institute of Technology, led by faculty, will develop technologies for assisting people with disabilities in the region.

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11:35am

Wed December 19, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Kodak patent buyers include Google, Apple and Microsoft

Kodak has sold off a chunk of its patents for $525 million.
Stewart Marshall via Flickr

Kodak has reached an agreement for the sale of their digital patent portfolio. Under the agreement, the company will receive $525 million for the imaging patents from Intellectual Ventures, a major holder of US patents, and a group of 12 licensees.

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3:55pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Science

New stem cell facility to be available to scientists statewide

The new facility is built as a 'clean room' with no outside contaminants allowed in
Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

A new facility in upstate New York is being touted as the ‘bridge’ from research to stem cell therapies that could potentially cure conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and spinal damage.

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9:15am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Amtrak to take over new tracks in Albany area

The Northeast rail corridor will see shorter travel times and be more reliable. Through a new 25-year lease, Amtrak has taken control of a busy stretch of track leading to the capital region.

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4:08pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Technology

Seeking more women for computer sciences

The number of women graduating from computer science degrees has more than halved since the 1980s. One computer scientists recently spoke to students at the Rochester Institute of Technology and told them that women have to be included in the field to boost the economy, and to encourage equality.

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5:57am

Sat December 8, 2012
Technology

Optics & photonics Industry growing in upstate NY

The industry around the scientific fields of optics and photonics has a strong presence in upstate New York. Monroe County alone is home to around 50 companies working in the field that is behind things like lasers, smart phones, and the Internet.

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4:53pm

Thu December 6, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Innovate it here & make it here, say manufacturing experts

Closing the gap between innovation and commercialization is the key to boosting the national economy. That is one of the messages at a manufacturing summit being held in Rochester this week.  Industry leaders say economic growth triggered by American ideas needs to be kept within the United States' borders.

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9:25am

Thu December 6, 2012
Politics and Government

Immigration legislation could help those with STEM degrees

New legislation would allow 55,000 thousand green cards to be earmarked for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math has made it through the House of Representatives. But the bill still has an uphill battle ahead.

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3:26pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Environment

Lockport GM facility goes green

A General Motors facility in western New York has announced they are going green. The site in Lockport makes heating and air conditioning components for GM radiators and is the 103rd facility for the company to become landfill-free.

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